HEWITT-WOODWAY (January 7, 2014) As we enter a new year, school officials and law enforcement across the country continue to battle school shootings and attacks, which have become a growing problem nationwide.
From 2012-2013, 49 people died during 15 school attacks. The most recent occurred in Centennial, CO at Arapahoe High School where 18-year-old Karl Pierson shot and killed 17-year-old Claire Davis, then turned the gun on himself.
Moments like these are what continually keep Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin on his toes. Both Hewitt Police and Woodway Police are responsible for security and patrol at Midway ISD.
"Our best attempt for law enforcement is to minimize the chaos in the situation the best we can,” Devlin said.
“There's not a 100 percent full proof procedure out there that we can put into place to prevent these events."
If an active shooter situation were to happen inside a Midway ISD campus, Devlin says having just a lockdown might not be enough.
“Just a door might not be enough of a barrier to keep a shooter from accessing a classroom and taking advantage of whomever is inside.”
Instead Midway ISD practices what they believe is a more proactive response called, “Run, Hide, Fight.”
Under “Run, Hide, Fight,” if an active shooter situation were to take place, Midway ISD says the first priority is to try and escape the situation safely (i.e. leave the building) if at all possible.
Secondly, if escaping isn’t an option, then students and staff are told to hide and take whatever precautions necessary to keep an active shooter from finding them.
Finally, if one were to have an encounter with the shooter, he or she is encouraged to fight or take action to protect them self if they feel the need to.
However, Devlin says this tactic only applies to staff and any older students at the High School level.
“Primarily, this is for the adults who are in charge of the children."
Encouraging staff and possibly older students to defend themselves has received some criticism, Devlin says.
But Midway ISD stands behind the protocol. At the start of this school year, “Run, Hide, Fight,” training is required at all their campuses.